10 boats infested with invasive mussels have been stopped in B.C. so far this year | Kelowna News | iNFOnews

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10 boats infested with invasive mussels have been stopped in B.C. so far this year

Manitoba registered watercraft being inspected by a Provincial Watercraft Inspector at the Golden Watercraft Inspection Station
Image Credit: Submitted/Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society
August 18, 2020 - 1:21 PM

As COVID-19 travel restrictions loosen across the country, more boats are coming to B.C. from parts of Canada where they may have been contaminated by zebra and quagga mussels.

So far this year, 10 boats have been identified at watercraft inspection stations with invasive mussels.

The mussels have not yet been found in lakes west of Manitoba but, because they can live for up to 30 days out of water and can attach to hulls or propellers, they pose a constant risk.

The inspection stations are mostly along B.C.’s southern and eastern boundaries. If they are open, it’s mandatory to stop with any watercraft, including paddle boards and canoes.

“If the watercraft is determined to be low risk, then the traveler is free to go; if it is high risk, travelers may be required to have their boat decontaminated, which is free to the traveler,” Sue Davies, aquatic coordinator for the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, said in a news release. “The consequence of travelers with watercraft not stopping at an inspection station is a swift fine, and the potential to destroy B.C. beaches, environments, and cost B.C. millions every year.”

Travellers can visit the provincial website, for more information and, if you suspect mussels are being brought in  you can call Conservation Officer Service Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277.

READ MORE: Feds need to step up game in fight against invasive mussels in Okanagan, Shuswap: letter

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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